About this good practice
In 2014, the Ministry for Health of the Basque Government created Innosasun Program to support companies and thirds parties in the development and validation of health technologies. Innosasun aims to turn the BPHS into a preferential partner, putting its capacities and know-how at the service of socio-economic development.
The main activities carried out in the frame of Innosasun are: 1) counselling and guidance to companies and other agents about specifications or requirements of their health technologies, so that they can fit better the needs of health professionals and patients and, ultimately, the market; and 2) preclinical and, above all, clinical studies for the development and validation of health technologies. In this sense, Innosasun offers the healthcare system as a test bench or living lab in a real environment, for demonstration, validation and/or cost effectiveness studies of medical devices and technologies.
In 2018, the Ministry for Health of the Basque Government created Medtech Innitiative to economically support the collaboration of the BPHS with companies in the frame of Innosasun for the development and validation of health technologies that improve health outcomes and generate value. This initiative allowed to overcome one of the main limitations for third parties, especially SMEs, in their way to market, which is the lack of budget for expensive but, at the same time, mandatory clinical studies.
Since 2014, Innosasun, funding for technical staff has been mobilised. In more detail, two people full-time at BIOEF. In the case of Medtech, a budget of 8,2 M € has been mobilised since 2018 divided as follows: 1 M€ in 2018, 1.3 M€ in 2019, 1.5 M€ in 2020, 1.7 M€ in 2021 and 2.7 M€ in 2022.
Evidence of success
The capacities of both programmes have also been used to fight the pandemic. During 2020 and 2021, eleven out of 49 companies that accessed Medtech collaborated with the Basque Public Health System in projects focused on development of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic systems and Covid-19 patient treatment. Two diagnostic test have been granted the CE mark thanks to the clinical validations carried out and the other 9 technologies have accelerated their way to market thanks to the validation carried out.
Potential for learning or transfer
During the pandemic, both supporting tools of the Ministry for Health, Innosasun and Medtech, have been very valuable. The BPHC has collaborated and supported the development and validation of 11 health technologies, including SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic systems and Covid-19 patient treatments, from 11 different companies.
Based on the success, this good practice could also be interesting for other health systems involved in supporting the entrepreneurial health sector to have similar tools such as INNOSASUN and MEDTECH.